During the ancient times, Ragi was widely known and consumed, in India. But it is now absent in people’s minds and diets, which is quite unfortunate given its high nutritional benefits and healing properties. But even today, India remains one of the top producers of ragi a.k.a finger millet.
Here are 5 reasons why we should restore Ragi in our diets.
1. Rich in calcium
The calcium content in Ragi is very high, almost 200 times that of rice. Calcium rich foods, like Ragi, help maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis. For children, it will greatly help in bone and muscle development, and in strengthening the nervous system.
2. Has anti-microbial properties
Ragi has powerful anti-microbial properties and is known to fight against numerous bacteria, including Bacillus cereus, which causes food poisoning, Salmonella, which causes a typhoid-like fever, and Staphylococcus aureus, one of the primary causes of skin and soft tissue infections.
Ragi also protects against tumours, atherosclerosis, and possesses anti-cancer and anti-diabetic benefits. Indeed, a wonderful immunity shield!
3. Rich in EAA
Ragi is loaded with a number of Essential Amino Acids (EAA). Some of the chief EAA include are Valine, Methionine, Isoleucine, Threonine and Tryptophan.
- Valine helps in repair of tissues, muscle coordination and in improving metabolism
- Isoleucine is essential for ensuring blood formation.
- Threonine helps maintain protein levels in the body
- Tryptophan acts as natural relaxant and helps fight anxiety, depression and insomnia. This amino acid also aids in weight loss by reducing appetite.
- Methionine, a sulfure based amino acid helps promote growth of healthy skin and hair. The sulphur, we get from Methionine helps produce a substance called lecithin which helps reduce cholesterol, reduce fat inside the livers and help protect kidneys.
4. Improves digestion
The high dietary fibre content in ragi, slows down pace of digestion but enhances the quality of digestion. This helps in lowering blood sugar levels, as well. Ragi also makes for great baby food because it is easy to digest and provides nutrients needed for the baby’s development.
5. Helps in weight loss
Compared to other cereals, Ragi’s natural fat content is low. The fibre content in Ragi keeps you full for longer, which in turn prevents overeating. Also the Amino Acid, Tryptophan reduces appetite thereby promoting natural weight loss. Doctors suggest that Ragi is best consumed in the morning, in order for our bodies to make the most of it and will keep us energised and full, through the day.
However, much like anything else, Ragi too should be consumed in moderation. Over intake can increase oxalic acid in your body, and is not advisable for people with kidney stones or other kidney & urinary problems.
Ragi is a versatile cereal, having several benefits as well as uses. Right from your breakfast to your desserts, Ragi can be incorporated in many ways and even a small quantity can reap you several health benefits.